Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren.
After a few embarrassing meetups in college Josh Im and Hazel Bradford reunite years later. Josh is sweet, thoughtful, and sensible while Hazel it quirky, funny, and straightforward. After Josh’s last relationship ends horribly Hazel convinces Josh to go on double dates with her. The dates they pick for each other don’t always work out but they have fun spending time together and the more time spent together the stronger the romantic tension.
This is the first novel I’ve read by the writing duo Christina Lauren and it was such an entertaining rom-com read. There were even parts that made me laugh out loud.
Hazel may lack a filter and be a bit zany but she has a big heart and doesn’t come across too over the top. I thought she was clearly believable and likable. Josh is a sweet straight man which makes it easy to fall in love with him. I was never left believing these characters would never work. Their friendship/romance was a little the opposite attract trope but didn’t feel thrown together or so contradicting to feel stretch thin. Instead, the relationship between Josh and Hazel was a slow burn, a lovely way to build tension, and with the feeling of a well-suited pair. Christina Lauren also does a great job of making the characters’ responsible adults talking about real-world topics like sex, testing, and bleeding without any shame, or guilt.
My only negative with the book was with the ending. I won’t give anything away but it felt rush. I would gladly pick up another novel by Christina Lauren in the future. They can paint clear scenes and deep characters without heavy fluff. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary romance and is looking for an energetic and cheerful read.
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren will be published by Gallery Books on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018.